NAEMT Releases New Position Statement on EMS in Health Care Reform
Clinton, Miss. — Considering that emergency medical services are an integral part of our nation’s health care system, The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) has published a new position statement, “EMS in Health Care Reform.” The position statement advocates for the inclusion of the following EMS principles in the development of national health care reform legislation:
1. Both emergency and non-emergency ambulance services are covered services.
2. Fee schedules for medical insurance are based on the cost of providing the service as determined by the GAO study on ambulance costs.
3. EMS and emergency physicians are active participants in the process of health care reform.
4. Analysis is conducted to determine the impact of health care reform on emergency department overcrowding and the surge capacity of EMS systems specifically, and health care in general, in the event of major disasters or public health emergencies.
5. EMS can contribute to more optimal health care and achieve health care savings when integrated with primary care and allowed to refer or transport patients to a variety of medically appropriate facilities.
6. Cost savings should not be achieved by reducing the capacity of EMS to respond with clinically meaningful response times or a certain capacity to surge.
7. EMS data is collected and available for improvements in EMS care, and is integrated with data on the overall health care system.
The statement notes that emergency medical services are a critical component of the nation's emergency and trauma care system, with hundreds of thousands of EMS practitioners providing more than 16 million medical transports each year. Speed and quality of emergency medical services are critical factors in a patient's ultimate outcome.
As Kurt Krumperman, Chair of the NAEMT Advocacy Committee, explains: “EMS is not only a critical part of the health care system; it is fundamental to the health care safety net that exists for all who live in the United States. For many, it is the path to accessing the health care system, and as such must not be jeopardized, particularly in changing times.”
To access the full position statement, please visit the NAEMT Positions page in the Advocacy section of www.naemt.org.
Formed in 1975 and today more than 30,000 members strong, NAEMT is the nation’s only association representing the professional interests of all EMS practitioners, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders and other professionals working in pre-hospital emergency medicine. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government service agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.